Review of China Airlines flight Amsterdam Taipei in Economy

Airline China Airlines
Flight CI74
Class Economy
Seat 63K
Aircraft Airbus A350-900
Flight time 12:35
Take-off 20 Nov 23, 11:00
Arrival at 21 Nov 23, 06:35
CI   #17 out of 94 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 107 reviews
ThomasDutch
By SILVER 1238
Published on 23rd November 2023

Intro


Welcome to my first flight report of my 2023 trip to Asia, which will see me and my wife travel to three different countries within Asia over a timespan of three weeks. The first flight of my trip was with China Airlines, which I booked as a multiple city itinerary to Seoul from Amsterdam with a stopover in Taipei. The return leg to Amsterdam will, and to no surprise, see me departing from Bangkok via Taipei to Amsterdam.

This flight was booked well in advance and I chose for China Airlines as they did offer me the best package in respect to price and timings and I was kind of exciting to try them again many years later as I used to fly them regularly in the past on their route Amsterdam-Bangkok (would continue to Taipei), but somewhere along the line they decided to cancel that route in favour for an Amsterdam-Taipei direct. Understandable for them, but not so convenient for me.


Flight CI 74


Departing from home around 7.30 AM with a drive of an hour, I dropped off my car at P3 Long Parking for a total of 120 EUR for three solid weeks. The shuttle bus of this P3 Parking dropped us off at around 8.50 AM in Schiphol's terminal. We made our way up to T3, which was being used for check-in with China Airlines.


photo 20231120_085319

Check-in Row 24 is being used for today's flight and check-in is done by KLM Staff, which is also the handling company for China Airlines in Amsterdam as they're part of Skyteam. With two hours to departure and the aircraft being 95% full, there were no lines and the check-in was a very smooth process. I guess EVA Air in Amsterdam can learn a lot from China Airlines in Amsterdam with their check-in process. :).

Also another curious thing is that when you try to check in online with China Airlines in Amsterdam, they will direct you to KLM's site to check in with them as they're not allowing you to check in with China Airlines online, despite the fact that I bought my ticket directly with China Airlines.


photo 20231120_085407

The ground attendant handled our check-in within a few minutes and informed us that our luggage will be transfered automatically to Seoul.


photo 20231120_085817

On our way to security in T3, the security staff decided to close the security post in T3 right in front of us and told us to move to T2. T2's security was obviously very crowded by now and it took about 30 minutes to clear security. It took another 30 minutes for me and my wife to clear passport control and had about an hour to kill in the transit zone prior to our departure.


photo 20231120_094037

Given that we haven't had any proper food so far, we decided to grab a quick bite with Kebaya, which promoted themselves as an Asian styled restaurant offering sushi's and other Asian dishes.


photo 20231120_094848

The fact that they are charging you 15 EUR for this ramen soup was a total disgrace. The broth was very watery, the noodles were cheap and not properly cooked and the meat was kind of tasteless. Definitely not returning here.


photo 20231120_094934

10 minutes prior to our scheduled boarding time, we were at our gate F09 with our bird preparing for it's flight to Taipei. Aircraft B-18918 would bring us over to Taipei. It's a 5.3 year old Airbus A350-900 that was newly delivered to China Airlines in October 2018 and is carrying the special ''Carbon Fibre - Airbus'' livery.


photo 20231120_100925

As the aircraft arrived from Taipei with a delay of approximately an hour, an announcement was made by ground staff on our scheduled boarding time that boarding would be delayed by about 20 minutes or so. Not the most convenient given that we had a stopover time of 1 hour and 20 minutes in Taipei.

Despite many intercontinental departures around this time in this pier, there was plenty of seating available.


photo 20231120_101244

Late 2022 Amsterdam Airport announced that they will raise the fees for the airliners and passengers to make use of their airport with a promise that the airport will be improved in general, but so far nothing is to be seen. So many broken elevators, people movers and apparently also leaks in the ceiling by now? I wonder what's next?


photo 20231120_101239-54722

Given that we were delayed, I told my wife I will make a small walk and spotted this KLM Boeing 777-300ER being pushed back for it's departure to Cape Town, South Africa.


photo 20231120_103118

A Boeing 777-300ER of China Eastern that would depart about 30 minutes later than us to Shanghai Pu-dong. A flight I used to take many years ago, but somehow received an upgrade of aircraft along the line as I used to fly with them on an Airbus A330.


photo 20231120_103130

PH-BVA, Another KLM Boeing 777-300ER in the orange pride livery which recently received a minor update with a more prominent Dutch flag.


photo 20231120_105532

As last Singapore Airlines flight SQ 323 was being pushed back for it's flight to Singapore.


photo 20231120_103137

Boarding was called as promised by ground staff 20 minutes past our scheduled boarding time and went orderly according to the plan the groundstaff had outlined. Upon entering the cabin, we were kindly greeted by all flight attendants we met during our walk to our seat. Mind you that you will need to grab the complimentary earphones before entering the aircraft if you wanted to use the IFE.


photo 20231120_103242

Seat 63K and Seat 63J would be occupied by us and was very spacious with generous legroom. The seat came with a nicely sized IFE, a seatpcoket and a foldable table. It also has a socket & a USB plug.


photo 20231120_110018

The padding of the seat didn't look particularly thick, but somehow I found this seats to be rather comfy in general terms. 


photo 20231120_110024-44121

A great view out of my window.


photo 20231120_110032

And I found the way China Airlines decorated the cabin to be very pleasant and comfortable. 


photo 20231120_110153

The complimentary earplugs. To be fair I haven't tried them in the entire flight as I did watch movies and listened to my music via my phone and my personal headset, so I can't really judge on the quality of them, but I generally do not have high hopes for them.


photo 20231120_110659-62881

The literature in your seat pocket wasn't much and contained only of a sickbag & a safety card. Quite surprising to not see an airline magazine here.


photo 20231120_110728-89709

The seats are only equipped with an individual light. No individual airvents are present, which to me is a shame as I'd like to have them. I definitely could have used one as I found the cabin to be on the warmer side throughout the entire flight.


photo 20231120_111039

The table was foldable as you can see in the pictures below.


photo 20231120_111141photo 20231120_111146

Pusback was about 22 minutes past our scheduled departure with a short ride to our runway, which was 18L for today.


photo 20231120_112914

Surinam Airways is once again strongly present in Amsterdam with their own aircraft after they obtained an Airbus A340 of Air Belgium.


photo 20231120_113000

Time to leave Amsterdam and continue with the 12 hour journey to Taipei!


photo 20231120_113456

Shortly after departure, the flight took a easterly turn to fly into the direction of South East Asia, which forced most of us to close the window shades as the sun in reference to the heat in the cabin was quite unbearable. Window shades didn't come up until 1 hour to landing as flight attendants asked passengers to close them once again.


photo 20231120_113731

The IFE System was very responsive in my opinion with a decent selection of movies, shows, music and games. Enough choice was given to you to enjoy yourself on a 12 hour flight.


photo 20231120_113840photo 20231120_113853

The flight map was however a bit basic.


photo 20231120_133603

The service given by the flight attendants was fast, friendly and very efficient. Everyone received their meals within a hour after departure and all passengers had the option to choose between both meals as they had enough in stock. Well done on that China Airlines.

The options for today's flight was Chicken in a sour-sweet with a little spice w/ rice & vegetables or beef w/ vegetables & a Potato Gratin. I decided to take the chicken option, which was pretty decent to be fair. It also came with a selection of fruit, a coleslaw salad, a bottle of water and a bun with crackers & butter. As a complimentary drink, I opted for the peach black tea of China Airlines.


photo 20231120_122417

As my wife chose the other option, I can show you the option as well, but we both agreed that the chicken with rice was the better one on offer. The sidedishes were obviously the same.


photo 20231120_122018

Coffee and Tea was shortly after served. I opted for my usual coffee.


photo 20231120_123515

The great thing was that flight attendants regularly came by with drinks & snacks to keep us satisfied and hydrated. They kept this going for the entire duration of the flight.


photo 20231120_130011

And the snacks weren't too bad either and served in this nicely designed bag.


photo 20231120_130519-12774

View of the cabin with about 10 hours to go. Also WiFi was available in the aircraft, which was working throughout the entire flights without any disconnection. You had four options to buy, which was 3.25 USD for 15 MB Messaging, 11.95 USD for 1 hour of data, 16.95 USD for 3 hours and 24 hours for 21.95 USD. The last option is definitely the best one for these longhaul flights as it gives you the biggest advantage for the entire duration of the flight and found that price to be reasonable. Can't understand tho why you need to pay 17 USD for just three hours?


photo 20231120_133517

Four hour into the flight I asked one of the flight attendants for a glass of wine (or shall I call it a cup of wine given that it was served in a cup?). I was also handed the same snack without asking for it and continued to read the book ''Veldgrauw'' which is kind of a statistical book as to  why so many Dutch served in the German army in WW2 and the reasoning behind it.


photo 20231120_134012

About 5 or 6 hours in the flight, the flight attendants continued as I said before with the drink service every 15 a 30 minutes or so and the snacks served with them were now replaced by sandwiches with ham.


photo 20231120_150923

And it was already pitch black outside…


photo 20231120_154826

7 hours into the flight, I made a quick visit to one of the lavatories which was still in a very clean state as flight attendants kept them clean on regularly basis, though the lavatories are quite basic with limited amenities as it came only with some soap, perfume & hand lotion. No toothbrushes or anything like that were available like you'd have on EVA Air, though I forgot to mention that China Airlines handed out free slippers if you wanted to use them.


photo 20231120_161255photo 20231120_161301

Took another round of drinks and now the snack was changed to some green onion crackers.


photo 20231120_162907

With about 4 to 5 hours left to arrival, the 2nd meal service started and we had the option to choose either between egg fried rice with Chinese sausage or chicken with rice. I opted for the first one which once again was served with a selection of fruits, croissant & yoghurt. This time my wife also opted for the same, so I can't share you what the other one looked like, but the meal itself wasn't very memorable. It was edible, but nothing more than that. I chose a coffee as my drink. Also another side note is that China Airlines used hard plastic cutlery instead of metal cutlery like EVA uses.


photo 20231120_181606

About two hours to landing, I called one of the flight attendants by the call button to kindly ask him for a Taiwanese beer. He quickly came back to provide me with one and served me another bag of snacks. As I have complimented them quite often throughout this report, I had to compliment them once again as they've been very responsive to most requests and when the call button was pressed, they were quickly present to deal with our request, so once again well done!


photo 20231120_211708

Sipping the beer while enjoying the view over China and slowly watching the sunrise happening.


photo 20231120_223658photo 20231120_225231photo 20231120_230554

About 30 minutes prior to landing, the captain announced himself that we were descending into Taipei, thanked us for flying and gave us a weather update regarding Taipei. Runway 23R was the runway assigned to us and as last apologized for the minor delay we occured, which happened to the late arrival of the aircraft from it's previous flight.


photo 20231120_233937

Touchdown was very smooth and wasn't noticeable until the pilot went into reverse trust. Upon exiting the aircraft, I saw this nicely decorated Airbus A321 in a Pokemon livery.


photo 20231121_064444

Aircraft docked into stand A9 next to a 777 of China.


photo 20231121_0650140

Disembarkation followed soon after in which a strict guidelines was followed that Y Class passengers could only disembark when J class was done with it. It also gave me a last look of the aircraft that brought me over to Taipei. A job well done by China Airlines.


photo 20231121_070038

After a 5 to 10 minute walk, we were guided to another security control for those who were transiting to another destination, which was done in a laid back way by the few staff checking up on us. The next report will continue after the security check at a later stage.


photo 20231121_070242
See more

Verdict

China Airlines

9.3/10
Cabin10.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Meal/catering8.0

Amsterdam - AMS

6.4/10
Efficiency7.0
Access7.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness4.5

Taipei - TPE

6.5/10
Efficiency7.0
Access6.5
Services6.0
Cleanliness6.5

Conclusion

China Airlines did an excellent job on this flight with flight attendants being very pro-active with their service and kept smiling for the entire flight. WiFi was strong, decent catering and excellent legroom. Absolutely some minor improvements can be made, but all in all I was very pleased with the flight and that's what matters right?

Information on the route Amsterdam (AMS) Taipei (TPE)

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 9 avis concernant 2 compagnies sur la ligne Amsterdam (AMS) → Taipei (TPE).


Useful

La compagnie qui obtient la meilleure moyenne est China Airlines avec 8.2/10.

La durée moyenne des vols est de 12 heures et 50 minutes.

  More information

5 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 640373 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6715 Comments
    Hi Thomas, great report as always! Sounds like China Airlines was a very good option for this itinerary with what appears to be very good service for a decent price. I would think that normally CI would not be one of the cheaper options to Asia being that AMS is a SkyTeam stronghold and the mainland Chinese carriers are notorious with dumping low fares in Western markets out of Alliance. So great that you were able to get China Airlines.

    I like the look of the cabin. Not many carriers make en effort on having interesting finished in the cabin, but CI definitely went all the way with cool bulkheads etc.

    Thanks for sharing!
    • Comment 640556 by
      ThomasDutch SILVER AUTHOR 639 Comments
      It wasn't the cheapest option to be frank for the same itinerary, but I preferred China Airlines over Finnair, but indeed I found the cabin of CI to be pretty comforting and smoothing. Thanks for stopping by!
  • Comment 640848 by
    Chibcha SILVER 551 Comments
    Thanks for the FR, it was quite detailed!!
  • Comment 646842 by
    Alvin 1 Comments
    Thanks for sharing. But please kindly note China Airlines is a Taiwanese carrier. The land view you saw was Taiwan instead of China. Taiwan is not a part of China.
    • Comment 646846 by
      ThomasDutch SILVER AUTHOR 639 Comments
      You assumed wrong. I was sipping my beer over China before crossing the pond to Taiwan, so the photos where I talk about China are actually photos of mainland China and not Taiwan. It's better to ask before suggesting something to change though.

Login to post a comment.